Mumbai (Bombay),  India

Cricket in front of Mumbai high court, India

Cricket outside the Mumbai High Court, India.

Visiting Mumbai

Known as Mumbai officially but locals often stay with the old Bombay name, this west coast city is a classic study in contrasts with its fine Victorian/Gothic architecture, dazzling glass skyscrapers and baking tin shacks in slum clusters everywhere.

This is the wealthiest city in India, the financial, commercial and entertainment hub of the country as well as being the most heavily populated (18m+ inhabitants).
It’s popping with Bollywood and Bollynet billionaires, hundreds of prosperous apartment and office buildings interspersed with decrepit shacks sheltering a massive underclass of garbage processors that are gradually, with no compassion but plenty of bulldozers, being shoved out of their homes and out of their work in the city centre.

Mumbai slums, mumbai, India

Slums in the north of Mumbai (and plenty elsewhere too).

Mumbai temple interior with costumed local people, India

A typical local temple scene.

Mumbai Attractions

• Extraordinary and kaleidoscopic temples such as Shree Siddhivinayak that celebrates the elephant god Ganesh; Iskcon dedicated to Krishna; the Jain Temple; Mahalakshmi Temple; Haji Ali Mosque.

KidZania, an indoor theme park for families that inspires and educates kids by blending reality with entertainment.

Water Kingdom, India’s Largest Water Park on the coast of Gorai village in northwest Mumbai, the 42 acre complex offers over 70 attractions for all age groups.

• Drive over the Bandra-Worli Sea Link bridge, a stunning structure with magnificent views.

• Visit the vast Gateway of India memorial built on the spot where England’s King George V landed in 1911, that welcomed Ghandi back from South Africa and saw the back of British troops when India gained independence. It’s conveniently located beside the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel where all tourists should take a beverage and check out the ‘Heritage’ wing of the hotel!

• Take a boat out to Elephanta Caves Shiva Temple from the Gateway of India. Photo below.

• Stroll the beaches, Juhu or Chowpatty, to see Indian family life in action, but don’t swim!

• Visit the Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya Museum, a beautiful example of Victorian architecture with Mughal and Persian touches that displays art, architecture and natural history exhibits.

Mumbai temple ceiling, India

Mumbai temple ceiling.

Mumbai sights

Typical Mumbai street scene, India

A perfectly normal street in perfectly normal chaos.

Juhu beach, Mumbai, India

Juhu Beach.

Juhu is busy at the weekends with colourful ladies strolling in saris with their families but avoid swimming unless you are bacteria-proof. Go there on weekend afternoons and evenings, when it’s buzzing with children’s rides, amusements and food stands.

Elephanta Island caves, Mumbai, India

Elephanta Caves.

Elephanta Caves is a rock-cut temple dedicated to Shiva built around AD 600 and now a World Heritage Site. They are on Elephanta Island about 6 kms from Mumbai mainland and open from 9 am to 5 pm, closed on Mondays. Get there via a one hour boat ride from the Gateway of India.

Elephanta Island rock carving, Mumbai,India

Elephanta Island rock carving.

Mumbai Best Seasons

The best, cooler, dry months are December to February when average highs reach around 31C/88F (Night lows around 17C/63F). Don’t even consider summertime from March to June with highs of 33C+/91F+. June – September is the monsoon season with staggering amounts of rain so could be interesting! You can expect heavy rains every two or three days at least and plenty of cloud cover and average highs still up to 30C/86F.